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in the American Civil War, a reproachful term for those Northerners sympathetic to the South, mostly Democrats outspoken in their opposition to the Lincoln administration. They were especially strong in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, where Clement L. VallandighamVallandigham, Clement Laird
, 1820–71, American political leader, leader of the Copperheads in the Civil War, b. New Lisbon (now Lisbon), Ohio. He became (1842) a lawyer, was elected to the Ohio legislature (1845, 1846), and was editor (1847–49) of the Dayton
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 was their leader. The Knights of the Golden CircleKnights of the Golden Circle,
secret order of Southern sympathizers in the North during the Civil War. Its members were known as Copperheads. Dr. George W. L. Bickley, a Virginian who had moved to Ohio, organized the first "castle," or local branch, in Cincinnati in 1854 and
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 was a Copperhead secret society. The term was often applied indiscriminately to all Democrats who opposed the administration. It afforded an opportunity for impugning the loyalty of those who opposed Lincoln's policies, either military or civil (e.g., the suspension of habeas corpus), and it was not until years after the Civil War that the Democratic party succeeded in living down the association.


See W. Gray, The Hidden Civil War (1942); F. L. Klement, The Copperheads in the Middle West (1960).

References in periodicals archive ?
For nearly four decades Copperhead Charities has raised money for Tampa Bay-area charities through professional golf," said Les Muma, General Chairman of the 2016 Valspar Championship.
Named the Valspar Championship, the tournament will be contested March 13-16, 2014 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf 8c Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, FL.
Grand armies with spectacular battle scenes and heroic acts filled the screen in director Ron Maxwell's epic motion pictures Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, but similar scenes of martial valor are missing from his latest Civil War movie, Copperhead.
Based on an 1893 novella by Harold Frederic of Utica--whom Maxwell calls the "Charles Dickens of upstate New York"--it focuses on two families, one Copperhead and one abolitionist.
At rural churches located chiefly in Appalachia, practitioners engage in handling venomous reptiles, such as rattlesnakes and copperheads.
State herpetologist Pete Mirick notes copperheads have never killed anyone.
Copperheads are blamed for most bites seen in emergency rooms.
Her book, Copperheads, will be published next year by Oxford University Press.
He was convinced that those opposed to the Union were led by "a few evil fanatics" and from this viewpoint he pursued not only the Copperheads during the war, but, with ever increasing determination, those whom he held responsible for the death of Lincoln as well as those responsible for the atrocities of the prisoner-of-war camps.
It turns out that the peculiarly American term for interracial marriage, "miscegenation," originated in an elaborate hoax by Copperheads designed to deny Lincoln the election in 1864.
The bacterial diversity in the venom and oral cavities of two subspecies of Copperheads, the Northern and Southern Copperheads was investigated.
The US Army used only 90 Copperheads in the Gulf War, presumably because most firings were conducted against area targets, and it was rarely possible to laser-designate point targets at short notice.